Another year has flown by. I don’t know how I am going to handle this next one. You’ve grown so much this past year that it seems if I allow you to go on, you will grow faster than I am comfortable with. But what’s a momma to do? Not much. I need to let you continue to grow into the man you will one day be. Luckily, we still have a bit of time.
This year, you have an amazing teacher, the same one your sister had for Pre-K. We love her to pieces. She is patient and incredibly kind to you and at the same time you know that you need to respect her and listen to her instructions. It’s a great combination and you are thriving in her classroom. Last year you wouldn’t even consider writing your name. You frequently told me that, “I just don’t know how.” or “No thank you.”. I didn’t pressure you because I knew that at some point playing with your trucks and other toys would need a break and you would want to learn the basics. Sure enough, you’ve conquered writing your name, spelling your last name and can count past 100 easily. You know almost all your letters, the sounds they make and are starting to enjoy when your two sisters demand you play “school” with them.
You’ve played a full season of soccer this past Fall and have just begun your Spring season; both of which your amazing Dad has been coaching. You know he is pretty great, right? He was the only coach in your soccer age group where the entire team returned. You should be very proud of him…I know I am! You love to hustle for him and yet he lets you know that it’s okay that you are still learning and you are out there to have fun. He keeps you interested at practice and you have such a good time with your teammates. I love to see how well you get along with boys your own age. It’s so different because I really only see you playing with your sisters and the occasional friend that comes to visit.
Ice skating is another thing you have gotten pretty good at. You’ve been going to lessons for about 5 months or so, every Saturday. I know you want to play hockey, and your time will come just as soon as you can stay in control of your feet on that ice! You are a fearless little boy and although it frightens me and I want to hold you close, making sure that you never get hurt, fail or cry, I know that you won’t always want me to. That’s a hard thing for me to deal with. I want to keep you little…yet I don’t.
I can’t wait for you to score your first game winning goal, take a girl on a date (the age of 30 should be soon enough, FYI) and ask your Dad for advice with the ladies. But for now I am going to try harder to enjoy these moments I have with you. It is too easy for me to tell you that you can’t be tucked in a 10th time for the night, don’t need help getting your shoes on and shouldn’t leave your wrappers on the table. These things are what little kids do. They are what make you little. You still need me and some day, sooner than I am ready for, you won’t.
For now I am going to cherish you sobbing at rest time, telling me that you “just aren’t tired!!” and not ten minutes go by and your warm body is snuggled up to mine and your breathing is calm and even. I’m holding on to those memories. I am going to embrace that I am still capable of carrying you, even if your Dad says you are “too big”. No, you are not. There will come a day when I can no longer pick you up and frankly, you won’t want me to. Right now, you want me to!!!!
There have been times lately where you have pushed my buttons and it frustrates me. I know how capable you are of being “perfect” so to see you behave in that manner, it surprises me. But the redeeming quality is that you almost always tell me you are sorry and admit that you were wrong. I hope you can always do this. It is a trait that not a lot of people have. To be able to admit faults, apologize and try harder not to do it again. I am proud that you, at only the new age of five, can accomplish such a task.
Some of your favorite things these days are your stuffed animals (Snowball, Lovey – who we DID find after she ran away, Callie, Tuff, Ruff, Kitty Kat, etc.). There are way too many to list out, but you do have a lot and they are all named and remembered by you. You enjoy giving them a bath in the sink, putting makeshift leashes on each one and of course taking them whenever we go run errnads. Lately you’ve found that Reese’s Candies are pretty great and always ask for a quarter when you see a machine that sells them. Star Wars, Indiana Jones and E.T. are some of your favorite movies that you enjoy watching while munching on popcorn (another fave). You still have a chocolate milk addiction, although you don’t drink nearly as much as you did just a year ago.
So, for the next year I am going to give myself the freedom to carry you if your legs just can’t do it themselves. I am going to tell you more than a dozen times a day that I love you, even though just last week you told me I could stop saying that because I always tell you that and you already know. Get used to it, buddy. I am going to make sure you are ready for Kindergarten this Fall and that you are comfortable with all that that entails. I will do my best to give you a more freedom when it comes to doing rough things, even if you might get hurt a little. Those are my goals for this next year. Your goals? Just keep being that wonderful, bright-eyed child that you are. Know that you are loved by all who meet you.
I am so, so, so proud of you. Happy 5th birthday!
Love you more than you know,